Object #1010492 from MS-Papers-0032-0817
From: Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items). Letters written on board ship or from various ports, 1847-1858 prior to his arrival in New Zealand in mid-1858. From then on the letters are almost all written from Maraekakaho about station matters.
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30 January 1859
My dear Donald
I received your two kind letters you wrote before going to the Bay of Islands. I wrote you a letter from here a few days before I got them with all the intelligence I then could give. We were done with the shearing on the 13 inst. and had in all 37 bales of wool. Being washed it does not weigh so heavey as I thought it would so Alexander says but from the price of wool it ought to bring about £900. Alex is so misterious that he will not tell me things without I find them out myself and always gets offended when I commence to remonstrate about expences and accounts. I think that he ought to tell me every farthing that is expended and how so as to keep a proper account so that you would know how matters stands I have tried all ways with him to get him to do so that but to no use. Besides I tell him that you must realise a good sum this year to purchase land and improve the place. He said that would be done. He is no doubt a very good and none better ammong stock but why not let me keep the books and let me know how the money is used so that it might be a check against any unnecessary expences things done in such a lose way and in a sort of a hidden way I do not like he ought to be glade to consult with me on all matters well knowing the interest I have in them and in himself but no. If he had any reason to conceal any thing from me I would not be so surprised but knowing that my constant studdy is to do all the good I can for all my relations.
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By advice and care he ought to consult and be guided in many ways with my observations for God knows any advice I would offer would be for the best for the interest of the place and his own interest but he is so misterious that in point of money transactions I cannot find him out but from what you showed me. I am certain their has been a good deal of usless wast and I am determined that shall be put a stop to and I fear money has been gaven to parties by him who never will be able to pay it back to him and it is my duty to try and put a stop if possible to all such proceedings if I can but that I cannot do till I will keep the accounts and know all that is bought and sold from this place. Small amounts will make large ones in time. I am certain that matters could be managed with less money than at preasant as Alex is to liberal in his idairs. Gasgoine was down with one load of wool and I by chance saw his bill and for wine and grog. It amounted to 18/ in the bill besides his keep £2.12 in all during 6 days. He promises I fear if he had it to be extravagant but I told Alexander about this and said all his grog must be taken of his wages. The Domett boys are gone and a good thing it is for they were a bad lot and spoiled Gasgoine. I may perhaps
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bring him round to my way of thinking now that he has no bad company such as the Dometts were when he went down to the port with me to meet John. The time we expected him I gave him 10/ for pocket money which I considered was plenty but he went and borrowed £3 and spent it all before he returned when I stayed their two days and only paid for self and horse 18/. However all that he may spend in any way must be charged against him in clothing and shoes as well for he is very carless of them. I tried a reformation on that point but to very little effect. In fact I had to gather up there cast away cloths and remonstrate with them about this but to no purpose. Alex had a box of duck trousers and blue shirts he bought at auction and they just used them as they pleased when one pair was the least torn it was hove to one side and another one taken. I put a stop to this and sold a few that was left to the Maories when shearing. Alexander poor fellow had a good deal to do with one thing and the other and he has been so long in the colonies that all those little things gaves him no thought and he thinks me I make no doubt very mean but it is not meanness but a sense of care. Having always to be very carful about little things indeed I am naturally so. Alex has purchased he tells me 400 acres on the run and in the best places up towards the bush. I have a strong idair of building a house in the Little Bush and cultivating all round their as the ground is good there. The
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late crop of potatoes there promises remarkable well. The wheat is housed in the wool shed in the loft. Mr Tuck had to shear in our shead and work his sheep in our yard having neigher yard or shed of his own which kept me back nearly 3 weeks from making improvements in the wool shed and make it available to live in till we can build the house and get the timber hauled. I fear I bother you to much with my long letters but I have so much to say and at heart that I must explain things to you but I fondly hope you will be down soon so that we can talk matters over and then you will not require such long letters. Since commencing to write this I had information from Tom McDonald to prove my suspicions as regards Alexander gave money away to usless fellowes shuch as I consider him to be. He told me that Alex paid £200 on his account. He was half drunk when he told me this and said I should never make use of it and that he now was going to leave the country and saying he never would forget this kindness and that Alex would never be the loser as he had plate and horses to make over as security till he could pay the amount. Rest assured this was grevious news to me
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knowing circumstances and I felt it very much and if Alex was at home I would have at once remonstrated with him on this head for I am well awair of his doing the same in Australia. Alex is at Patnec shearing and I wrote to him about this and how much it greived and astonished me to have found this out. I told him to look at home instead of looking to a parcel of usless idle trash etc etc. Alex is a very good busness man in many ways but always hides any thing he does from those who have all their heart interested in him and depending on his good management but yesterday McDonald came back from inland and said he was going to see Alex and that he had 170 sheep he was going to send here and sent his brother for them to be taken care of by Alex for him or keep as his own till the amount would be paid. If that is so matters are not so bad as I first took them to be as his plate or horse would be but of very little value to us. A Mr Smith came here the other day and commenced talking about horses and Alexander sold him the colt Havelock for £80 cash, a very good price for he told me before he was going to sell it to Mr Fitzgerald for £40. Now I have no more busness to transact I will say a little on family matters. I saw by your letter that you have an addition to your household in Miss Muddie. I suspected that to be the case. Poor John has a severe task to perform to keep all that family.
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I fear the mother will also be coming down upon you. One of them is plenty as when people marry they do not marry a whole famiely. He has now been keeping them for some years and no doubt will have to do so. I am very fond of his wife but I must say and told himself of it. I do not think much of any of the others. I did my best to prevent her ladyship from coming in the steamer when I came thinking it would cause a seperation. She was not long finding means altho his own natural dear sisters are at the mercy of stranger nowadays. Poor John much as I love him and much as his sisters love him he has not come up to his promise to them or never will now while he will have that tribe arround him. You say she is a good girl. No doubt she will show of all her blandishments to try and decoy others in her trap but I hope they will look far above that and get some one worthy of them in point of blood and money. I know my dear brother you have to much sense but to be plain with you whither you like it or not it has made me very uneasy since I heard of her coming to Auckland for I will know the many tricks such girls have who have neither hands nor money to keep them and too idle to take respectable employment which they can very easy get in the colonies.
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You I hope will think nothing of this but I need not say to put the amt [?] to good account for mind you you at preasant are the main stay to all your father's family. I would be delighted to see you married and settled in life with some one equal to you. In many points you can my dear brother get plenty with money and family if God spares you to visit your native land and plenty even in the colonies where you are so well known for intergrity and worth. I just had a few lines from Alex and he says that he fell in with Alexander & Golland in the port who have to settle the Domett affair and that they agree with him in all points which I am glad of as it was gaving him much anxiety. His claim is £500 and if he will get that he will give up possession. I think Domett has beheaved very shabby in this matter but Alexander has got him on all points if he works the card well as possession is nine points of the law. I am very much disapointed at Jessy never answering my letters. Two I have written since I came here. I will write John soon. What is he going to do at Otago. I trust something shure. I well know he has an old wrech of an owner to put up with but for all that he must be shure of something before he leaves. Poor fellow he is a good boy in may ways, to good hearted and very shrewd and clever in his profession, a better steamboat Capt I never saw. I now must end with the fered hope you well come down here as I hear them say in March and bring my dear little Douglas with you. Do bring him to stay with
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us till you return till I see how he is improved. I am certain Aunty poor body will do him some good in some ways. Many thanks for your good intentions to my old Kate. I wish poor body she was here. You mentioned Anabella's board £60 in your expences. My dear brother is not their plenty growing here for her and plenty for her to do her as well. This would be a blessed place were they once here as all expences would be done with. The ground will produce plenty for us all if I have to manage only 40 acres. I intend to suply your station and others as well. As my beloved nephew says an old sailor can never be at a loss in such a country as this if he keeps his health. With best wishes to you all
I remain your ever affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean
Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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